City of Pharr to offer its high-speed fiber internet to neighboring communities

PHARR, Texas – The city of Pharr’s highly anticipated high-speed fiber Internet service will be available in neighboring cities in the not-too-distant future.

This was confirmed by Jose J. Peña, the city’s director of information technology, at last week’s “Bridge Connect” seminar hosted by the Pharr Bridge Board and held at the Pharr Development & Research Center in southern Pharr.

Peña was asked to provide an update on the TeamPharr.net project to the customs brokers, trucking company owners and import-export specialists in the public. He said the high-speed broadband service is currently being offered to residents of South Pharr at a very reasonable price, but will soon be available to businesses in the city.

In the Q&A that followed, an international news publisher headquartered in McAllen said he was jealous of those companies in Pharr.

“Can you please extend your fiber lines to McAllen or should I move our business to Pharr?” the businessman asked.

Peña replied, “We would like you to build your business in Pharr and receive direct services from us. But we plan to go beyond our city limits. Our strategic plan was published a few months ago. Our goal is to move to four additional cities within the next three years.”

Peña continued: “But at the moment we are still under construction in Pharr. It’s already happening here in the south of Pharr. But the goal is to expand our network beyond our city limits and establish partnerships with other cities.”

The publisher of the Internet news service was delighted with what he heard. “This is going to be a game changer. We need the fastest service on offer and it’s not available where we are in McAllen. Thank you City Pharr.”

Peña said a number of other cities are considering introducing their own fiber internet service. He said Pharr is ready to work with the communities bordering the city.

“You recently saw that Harlingen was conducting an investigation. Also Brownsville. But again, we’re kind of the first to hit the market with this. This is the largest municipal network in the state, so we work with many industrial suppliers. But yes, the ultimate goal is to work directly with other cities and school districts as well.”

Peña then explained the speed of the broadband offer.

“For residential, we only have two plans, but it’s 500 megabytes up and down. We don’t do you short of that like everyone else with your uploads. Again, 500 megabytes up and down, $25. One gigabyte to your house, $50.”

Peña said the same concept will apply to business.

“It can be small suites, such as a restaurant or office spaces that are typical for home setups, but there are also larger facilities with their own network. We can go up to a gigabyte, but if a customer needs two, five or ten gigs, we have capacity for that,” Peña said.

“We are all 100 percent underground fiber infrastructure, which is why you see a lot of work here. Our project is moving north. We wanted to start in the south of Pharr because our large industrial segment is here.”

Peña began his comments by explaining the project, in case any of the businessmen and women in the audience had never heard of it. He was accompanied by a powerpoint presentation detailing speeds and pricing on the TeamPharr.net website.

“I wanted to make you all aware that the city of Pharr has become an internet service this year, so we are now actually delivering fiber to your home. No one else does it here in the Valley. We will be the first to deliver fiber to your home. We have actually already started living here in the south of Pharr. You will be hearing more about us as we now want to market to the commercial sector,” Peña said.

“We have a full-service offer. This is our website: TeamPharr.net. You get a bit of an impression of what we have to offer. It’s geared more towards the residential customer, but again, you can sign up and reserve a spot to get on our list. Just follow the web link there. Fill in the details.”

Peña said Pharr’s IT department definitely wants to hear from the commercial sector.

“We are very interested in the commercial sector. We know, of course, that commercial Internet services are slightly more expensive. Our costs are a lot cheaper. Again, this will be a real fiber to your business. Again, we have our rates, if you click on the second link, the Ultimate WiFi Experience link, you can see a bit of our rates. And then you scroll down a bit on the commercial offer.”

Peña said discounts were also available to residential customers.

“If you live in Pharr, sign up, $25. You have a student at home, go to school, a free school lunch, we are already approved for the affordable connectivity program by the government, so it’s basically free,” said he.

Peña pointed to his powerpoint presentation and said, “Here’s the small business plan for $100 and below that is corporate funds. So we have three different business plan options based on the need. Obviously, we can see a number of businesses, larger warehouses that may need more connectivity and again, those can be discussed and negotiated with us.”

He added: “I would like to remind all of you once again that the City of Pharr is now an Internet Service Provider and we are going to provide 100 percent connectivity to every single property in the City of Pharr. And we are already connecting here in the south of Pharr.”

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